Former Convenience Store Owner Sentenced To Nearly Five Years In Federal Prison For Food Stamp Fraud, Wire Fraud And Conducting An Unlicensed Money Transmitting Business
Defendant, Who Owned a Convenience Store in Arlington, Texas, Also Ordered to Pay More Than $1.4 Million in Restitution
FORT WORTH, Texas — Ali Ugas Mohamud of Arlington, Texas, was sentenced this morning by U.S. District Judge John McBryde to 13 concurrent sentences of 57 months each, following his guilty plea in October 2012 to an indictment charging him with seven counts of food stamp fraud, five counts of wire fraud and one count of conducting an unlicensed money transmitting business. In addition, Judge McBryde ordered that Mohamud pay $1,418,027 in restitution, $98,000 of which is payable immediately. Today’s announcement was made by U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas.
According to documents filed in the case, Mohamud owned Tawakal Grocery Store, located on South Collins Street in Arlington, and was authorized to participate in the United States Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as the “Food Stamp Program.” SNAP recipients are issued an electronic benefit card (EBT), commonly referred to in Texas as a “Lone Star Card,” in order to access SNAP benefits.
From time to time, beginning in 2009, Mohamud knowingly exchanged food stamp benefits for cash or wired money to other individuals in Somalia using food stamp benefits. As part of his scheme to defraud and to obtain money, from September 2008 through February 2010, Mohamud also wired thousands of dollars from Affiliated Computer Services, Inc., which operates EBT management for retailers, to his bank in Arlington.
The case was investigated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture - Office of Inspector General, Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, the Texas Health and Human Services Commission - Office of Inspector General and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development - Office of Inspector General.
Assistant U.S. Attorney J. Michael Worley was in charge of the prosecution.